I sat down with Ryan head coach Dave Henigan on Friday morning to talk about the end of organized summer workouts, Ryan’s quarterback situation and some other things.
DRC: What was the most enjoyable thing over the last few weeks during the summer workouts?
Dave Henigan: It’s always the fun part being around these kids. We had great turnout all summer. We weren’t bending over backwards to convince kids into working out. The expectation and culture of work and being where you’re supposed to be is there. Not having to run around and chase kids and get them here is huge, because they understand the importance of getting those workouts in and building that camaraderie over the summer, and it’s important to get a break, too, which is good.
[Kyle Burch, formerly at Grapevine, will coach the offensive line; Jordan Bull, formerly at Grapevine, will coach inside linebackers; Quentin Wyatt, formerly at Bettye Meyers Middle School, will coach cornerbacks]
DRC: This last month, was it really important to get the kids to know them, for them to know the kids and for them to get acquainted with one another?
DH: Oh yeah. Very important. And I’ve done this twice before, where I’ve merged an existing staff with some new guys. It’s important for them to get to know each other. But the good thing here is that a lot of these guys have backgrounds with each other. Burks has been here before and he knows just about everybody in that room. That makes the transition a little smoother. But I’m excited about our staff. I think we have a good mix, and we have some experience and some youth, which is important. We had a good summer.
And yes, it’s important for those kids to develop those relationships. Those are huge. That’s the key to coaching, in my opinion. Kids will run through a wall for any of those coaches, as long as they know you are about them and they know you love them.
DRC: You a little sick there?
DH: Man, I had not been to the doctor in four years, probably. I’ve been twice in the past three weeks.
DRC: That have something to do with moving?
DH: No. I’ve got chronic bronchitis or something. I’ve had this cough for six weeks. I got a steroid shot yesterday. I took a steroid deal, a Z-pack, a steroid shot. They have me on some other medicine.
DRC: I’m sure that’s enjoyable this time of year.
DH: Well it’s not expected this time of year, that’s for sure, but hopefully this steroid shot is going to help.
DRC: Who are some kids that impressed you during the workouts, guys that you weren’t expecting to do a whole lot?
DH: Guys I wasn’t expecting? Well, let me see here. Truthfully, a lot of the guys had great summers and I was expecting them to have great summers. I think one of the young ones that’s not unexpected is [sophomore linebacker] Tyreke Davis. He had a great summer.
He’s a young one. [Sophomore wide receiver] Randy Gray had a great summer and is one I think we’ll end up counting on. The rest of them I expected. There’s a lot of kids that had a great summer.
DRC: You talked about [senior] Jordan Murray being one of the main wideouts this year. Who’s going to be throwing him the ball?
DH: Those guys had good summers, all of them. [Junior] Nick Watts, [Senior] Shomari Cann and [Junior] Austin Carter, all three had good springs, got better, and have been here every day this summer. That’s a big question mark coming into the season. Those three are battling it out, and then there’s a young one coming in, and we’ll see what he can do physically, too.
DRC: What’s that kid’s name?
DH: Spencer Sanders. That’s a big jump, but those guys are going to compete. And we’ve been very clear about an open competition from senior to freshman, if needed be, to find the best player and take us where we need to go.
DRC: There was some talk about Spencer when he was in middle school. How did he look making that jump with all these kids?
DH: I’ve never seen him play, so that’s my disclaimer. But from what I understand, he was a great player in middle school, and as far as coming in, working out and fitting in, he did fine. He’s right in there with everybody else.
DRC: I see you have a “For Sale” sign. What is that from?
DH: That was from my house in my Grapevine. We take care of these fields, and they’re plush, and we also just sodded pieces of them. If you come here at night, there’s people all over them. We’re putting laminated signs on top of those signs and sticking them into the ground and saying, “Field’s closed.” Campo Cerrado.
DRC: Are you excited about getting a month break until August rolls around and you get back at it?
DH: I’m not going to be taking a month off. We’re not going on vacation. We’re leaving for a few days here, but then I’ll be here working. First year, I’m not going to be working all day, every day, but it’s not going to leave from my mind or from our coaches’ minds. We do it differently. I think I’ve told you, and this is something that Coach Florence did and convinced me of why, and I believe it.
Kids need a break. Coaches need a break. We’re around each other all the time, and we have plenty of time to get in shape before our first game, and we want to be peaking in November and December, not in August. We’ll still have kids that work out on their own. They’re going to get their work in on their own. I don’t have any doubt. We just don’t do anything organized in July. A lot of schools continue to organize stuff all the way through July, and the kids never get a break. Coaches never get a break.
But I think it’s going to be good for me. I haven’t turned it off since Feb. 11th, or whenever I got hired. And I’m going to sneak off for three or four days, turn it off a little bit, and then get back and we’ll crank it back up.